Jaipur central jail
Representational image | Creative Commons

There has been a slight increase in the number of deaths in Indian prisons from 2015 to 2017, giving authorities a reason to worry. Numbers state that from 1,584 in 2015 to 1,671 in 2017, having surged by 5.49 per cent in 2017. This information was disclosed by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on Monday. 

The number of deaths in prisons has increased marginally from 1,584 in 2015 to 1,671 in 2017, and increased dramatically by 5.49 per cent during 2017. 

A report 'Prison Statistics India 2017' stated that out of 1,671 prison deaths in 2017, 1,494 were natural and133 unnatural. This is a slight increase from the previous year where 1,424 deaths were natural out of 1,655 deaths and 231 were unnatural. In 2015, the total deaths were 1,584 in which 1,469 were natural and 115 unnatural.

The number of unnatural deaths in prisons has increased by 15.7 per cent from 115 in 2015 to 133 in 2017. Among the 133 unnatural deaths of inmates, 109 inmates have committed suicide, 9 inmates died in accidents, 5 inmates were murdered and 5 inmates died due to assault by outside elements during 2017. For a total of 44 inmates deaths, the cause of death is yet to be known.

A total of 371, 577 and 378 prisoners were reported as escaped from lawful custody during the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

"During 2017, 215 prisoners were reported as escaped from judicial custody. Out of 215 prisoners escaped, 70 prisoners escaped from inside prison premises and 145 prisoners escaped while they were outside prison premises. Gujarat has reported escapee of 90 prisoners while they were outside prison premises followed by West Bengal (11) and Bihar and Rajasthan (8) each," the report stated

Apart from escape from Judicial Custody, 163 prisoners escaped from police custody. Highest of such escape from police custody was reported by Uttar Pradesh (39) followed by Punjab (17) and Andhra Pradesh (15).

A total of 15 jailbreak incidents were reported in 2017 with 10 cases in West Bengal. A total of 88 clash incidents inside jails were reported in 2017, the highest of such clashes were reported by Bihar (35) followed by Delhi (19) and Punjab (11).

A total of 204 persons consisting of 181 prisoners and 23 jail officials got injured in such clashes and 1 prisoner died in such clashes.

[Representational image]Creative Commons

In 2017, no incident of firing was reported across the jails in the country

The number of prisoners lodged in various jails has increased from 4,19,623 in 2015 to 4,50,696 in 2017 -- as on 31st December of each year -- having increased by 7.4 per cent during the period. In 2016, the total of prisoners lodged were 4,33,003.

In 2017, out of the 4 50,696 prisoners, 4,31,823 were male prisoners and 18,873 were female prisoners.

In 2017, a total of 16,55,658 inmates were admitted in various jails of the country.

Out of 4,50,696 prisoners, the number of convicts, undertrial inmates and detainees were reported as 1,39,149, 3,08,718 and 2,136 respectively accounting for 30.9 per cent 68.5 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively. Other prisoners accounted for 0.2 per cent (693 prisoners) of total prisoners.

The number of convicted prisoners has increased from 1,34,168 in 2015 to 1,39,149 in 2017, having risen by 3.7 per cent during this period. The highest number of convicted prisoners lodged in Central jails were recorded to be 66.3 per cent with 92,184 prisoners followed by district jails 27.9 per cent with 38,785 prisoners and Open jails 2.4 per cent with 3,323 prisoners.

The total number of prisons at the national level has decreased from 1,401 in 2015 to 1,361 in 2017, having decreased by 2.85 per cent during 2015-2017.

There are 1,361 prisons in the country consist of 666 Sub jails, 405 District jails, 142 Central jails, 64 Open jails, 41 Special jails, 22 Woman jails, 19 Borstal School and 2 other jails. The actual capacity of prisons has increased from 3,66,781 in 2015 to 3,91,574 in 2017, having increased by 6.8% during 2015-2017.

Out of the total capacity 3,91,574 in 1,361 prisons in 2017, the Central jails of the country were having the highest capacity of inmates (1,74,412) followed by the District jails (capacity of 1,53,383 inmates) and the Sub jails (capacity of 44,577 inmates).